A bill for an Act to amend the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, No. 6, 2005 (“Bill”) has passed through second reading at the House of Representatives. The purpose of the Bill is to prohibit theft of electricity, destruction of electricity infrastructure and to prescribe appropriate penalties for defaulters.
The sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Mohammed Monguno, explained that the Bill seeks to protect investments in the Nigerian power sector and discourage the theft of electrical infrastructure and equipment by prescribing robust penalties for electricity thieves whose activities severely damage the efficacy of the power value chain in the country. The penalties for offences under the Bill include terms of imprisonment ranging from two (2) to seven (7) years and fines ranging from two hundred thousand Naira (N200,000) up to two million Naira (N2,000,000).
On his part, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai warned that the Civil Defence Act which empowers the Civil Defence Corps to protect public infrastructure would be contravened by adopting the proposed Bill as the Bill empowers the Power Theft Prevention and Infrastructure Protection Team to protect and ensure the safety and protection of power infrastructure throughout Nigeria.
In ruling on the Bill, the Speaker of the House Yakubu Dogara referred the Bill to the Committee of the Whole House. The Committee of the Whole House shall deliberate on the Bill and examine it more critically at the committee stage, following which, a motion may be moved that the bill be read the third time.
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